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Library News

By: Marcela Saldivia, PhD
For: Red Rock News
Date: January 28, 2011

Sedona Public Library in the Village is moving!
SPL in the Village will be closing the 56 W Cortez Drive location at 1:00 p.m. on January 22.  We will open at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1 at C102 Tequa Plaza.  The bookdrop will be available at W Cortez through January 29 and be available at Tequa Plaza on January 31.  Thank you for your support and donations to continue library services in the Village.

Latino Services at the Sedona Library

It’s the beginning of a new year and Sedona Public Library is bustling with myriad activities. The library’s vibrant team of librarians and volunteers is busy keeping our patrons updated with ongoing events, public services, and new programs. We keep in mind our Mission Statement: “to enrich the lives of our residents and visitors by serving as center for community activities and providing information, cultural, and civic services that are responsive, affordable and enjoyable.” Latino Services is committed to our Mission with particular emphasis on the Spanish-speaking population.

As the month of January unfolds I reflect upon my performance as the Head of Latino Services since I came to the library in October 2008. New challenges and questions on how to improve our services are always at stake and I must constantly re-evaluate the ways in which I provide both responsible information and healthy entertainment to Hispanics and the Sedona community at large. My role as Latino Services is primarily committed to promote library services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking as well as to serve as a bridge between Sedona’s culturally diverse people. In May 2009 I addressed these challenges in a thorough two-part article that is posted on-line.

In addition to continuing development of the Spanish collection my ultimate goal has a twofold purpose. One is to disseminate accurate information and offer effective services that will help Hispanics to successfully integrate into all realms of American life. Secondly is to educate the non-Spanish-speakers about the cultural heterogeneity of the Hispanic world through public programs and events. I see the library as a learning-teaching ground that reaches out to both Spanish- and English-speaking including a culturally diverse array of residents and tourists. The Spanish-language Collection also brings to the library non-Hispanics interested in reading Spanish books and/or to keep up practicing their language skills. The same can be said about my programs designed to reach out to everyone regardless of their ethnic background. The main purpose of my services, programs, and events is to bridge cultures in the context of the multicultural and versatile nature of the Sedona population. I also keep in mind that the Sedona Hispanic community is represented by a substantial number of residents not only from our neighboring country in the south but also from a wide range of Latin American republics.

Statistics reveal the importance to reach out to the Latino community because it stands as the largest minority group in the United States comprising over 48 million. This significant figure is the reason why around the nation public libraries implement and promote library information literacy to Latinos. By the same token it is estimated that in Sedona over 10% of the population are of Hispanic origin. Latinos represent an important rubric for the growth of Sedona's economy because they are both consumers as well as hard-working people.

In order to fulfill the immediate needs of our Spanish-speaking community I have designed and implemented specific services. In 2009 I initiated a series of computer literacy classes for Hispanics that will resume this year in March and April. In 2010 we offered two terms of English as a Second Language thanks to the voluntary work of ESL teacher Patricia Brickman. This year we scheduled a third term of ESL classes every Wednesday from January 26 through March 2. These classes are from 6:30 to 8:00pm to accommodate the busy working schedule of our Hispanic residents.

Another important part of my job is to provide bilingual services. I help with translations of reasonable length from English into Spanish. This includes writing short business letters in English or translating brief English documents into Spanish. I help as a simultaneous interpreter at the library when needed and for other educational institutions. For example, I serve as interpreter for Hispanic parents at Sedona Head Start regarding valuable information on non-profit and government aid programs. I also serve as Spanish language consultant for non-profit organizations that come to the library to consult with me for the accuracy of their translations.

This year we will celebrate the third multicultural poetry night PALABRAS DE AMOR/ WORDS OF LOVE on Friday, February 11 at 6pm in the Si Birch Community Room. Together with Sedona author Gary Every we organized this poetry show in the spirit of Valentine's Day. This event features Sedona residents, local poets, and musicians who read or perform in English, Spanish or Spanglish. It's an evening of warmth and friendship where everyone shares the beautiful expressions of love in different languages.
The first Monday of every month at 6pm I present Latino Cine forum featuring award-winning films in Spanish for adults.  In an effort to also entertain children we will offer a Matinee featuring classic Mexican films every Friday at 5pm during the summer months of June and July. Another program for children is Bilingual Story Time in collaboration with the Children's Room Assistant Librarian Daryl Lusher every first Saturday of the month at 11am.

In the course of this year ongoing programs such as the Charla Series (Talk Series) will continue. On Friday March 25 at 6pm Norbert Cisneros will present “Bert Acosta, Genius Pioneer Pilot.” This program highlights a little known Hispanic pilot who was one of the Pioneer Fathers of American Aviation. Over 100 slides of the era will illustrate this insightful and educational presentation. Other programs such as Dia de las Madres/Mother's Day in May, Fiesta de Independencia in September, Hispanic Heritage Month in October, and the display of Dia de los Muertos in October-November will spice up the library with the flavor of our Latino community. Thanks to all for your support and interest to these programs and we hope to see you at the library soon!

Marcel Saldivia
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Dr. Marcela Saldivia is Head of Latino Services of the Sedona Public Library.